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The 10 Best Drain Cleaners of 2019

Drain Cleaners: The Best of 2019

The most inconveniencing occurrences are those which seem deceptively minor in scope but have the ability to put your entire day on hold. And if a list of such household mishaps could be drawn up, blocked drains might just be found lingering somewhere close to the very top.

And while enlisting the aid of your plumber is often a great idea, it’s worth remembering that doing so may involve a considerable cost, not to mention having to place your plans on the back burner until they can make it to your home.

And that’s where the best drain cleaners come in. Free of either drawback, they can be the ideal choice for ensuring you’re able to get those plans back on track in record time.

Why wait until it's an emergency? Take a look at our options for the best drain cleaners on the market, buy a couple of options, and you'll have them on hand next time you encounter a clogged drain.

If you’re fed up of having to valiantly do battle with the aid of that trusty plunger or snake against that ever recalcitrant sink, bath or shower drain, you might just be in need of a drain cleaner which will enable you to lay down those tools for good.

And not just any product will do either. Especially since you deserve the peace of mind that comes with the certainty that the solution you'll apply will attack the offending organic matter and not your pipes, while also being especially potent and fast acting too.

And that’s what makes Professor Amos' SuperFast Drain Cleaner & Drain Opener Liquid appear to be an excellent choice for bidding farewell to seemingly interminable moments spent attempting to get rid of water that just won’t go away.

With a formula which has been specially created to eliminate obstructions which simply refuse to budge, this product which is an improvement on more caustic varieties, will liquify hair, grease and just about any bit of organic matter which has found its way to the wrong side of your drains.

It's also especially versatile and is ideal for use in any plumbing system you can think of, septic tanks included.

With all these qualities and much more, it's clear that this is one product which will not only enable you to bid farewell to clogged drains, but to also save loads of cash from having to call on professionals to come to the rescue of your pipes and drains.

Key Features
  • Fast-acting versatile formula which will liquify organic material
  • Safer and less caustic formula compared to other products
  • The perfect complement to Professor Amos’ Fast PM Monthly
Specifications
  • Package Size: 32 oz. per container
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Professor Amos
Pros
  • Ideal for stubborn clogs
  • Suitable for use throughout your home
  • May be used for plumbing systems of all kinds
Cons
  • May be unsuitable for certain blockages
Editors choice

2. XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener

9.15 / 10

Drain cleaners which have been manufactured to provide the most efficient clog-busting qualities are quite one thing. And those which have been made with the aim of achieving the perfect balance between safety and liquifying power are quite another. But the XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener actually goes the extra mile in ticking as many items off the perfect drain cleaner wish list as possible.

This high-density liquid which trumps gel and powders in its ability to reach deep into your drains is safer than acidic drain cleaners and is also suitable for use with pipes of all kinds. What's more, it's also considerably faster than conventional environmentally friendly drain cleaners which have a reputation for being slow acting, and will cling to any offending mass releasing heat and gases liquifying it to clear your pipes. And because it's been created with your safety in mind, it's non-splash, odorless and non-flammable. And once your drain's been cleared there will be no lingering burnt smells leaving you to wonder if your pipes have survived the ordeal.

The family-owned company which is behind this 'quantum leap in drain cleaning' are so confident in their product's ability to deliver that they've promised you your money back in the event of your being dissatisfied with it.

And while there's no doubt that the XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener is certainly impressive, it's worth noting that it's not suitable for tackling paper, plastic, or food.

However, in light of its effectiveness and safety, there's no doubt that it's an excellent choice for an efficient, environmentally friendly solution for blocked drains.

Key Features
  • High-density fluid capable of reaching deep into your drains
  • Non-splash, non-flammable and odorless
  • 100 percent money-back guarantee
Specifications
  • Package Size: 32 oz.
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Xion Lab
Pros
  • Acts faster than environmentally friendly drain cleaners
  • No unpleasant residual odor
  • Is safer than acidic drain cleaners
  • No splashing or bubbling when applied
  • Suitable for septic tanks
  • Completely biodegradable
Cons
  • Slower than other chemical drain cleaners
  • Unsuitable for paper, plastic, and food particles

We all love products which simply deliver on their promises. However, those which trump the competition — traditional home remedies and other drain cleaners — and succeed permanently where professionals have failed, are simply in a class of their own.

And in light of the reviews provided by delighted customers, the ComStar Pure Lye Bead Drain Opener certainly belongs in such select company. Consisting of 99 percent alkaline lye, this drain cleaner which comes in the form of tiny granules has been praised for its ability to resolve even the most stubborn blockage issues and even the odd pessimistic professional prognosis.

Hence it’s no surprise that it’s industrial strength drain clearing action makes it not only ideal for domestic use but also for application in environments which may involve an increased risk of blockage due to a heavier usage of facilities such as hospitals, schools and restaurants.

And if you’re wondering just how safe it might be for plastic pipes, chrome trim and fine features, you needn’t worry: it’s ideal for use on all these fittings.

It’s also free from dyes, water and fillers which do not enhance its effectiveness in any way. As a result, you can be certain of purchasing a product filled with an action packed formula which will clear out any unwanted obstructions and have those pipes as right as rain again.

However, it’s worth recalling that since lye is highly caustic, necessary precautions including wearing gloves and eye protection and careful handling, must be taken during the application of this product.

Key Features
  • Industrial strength drain cleaner capable of handling resilient debris
  • 99 percent fast-acting lye
  • Ideal for use in domestic and professional environments
Specifications
  • Package Size: 1 lb.
  • Product Form: Granules
  • Manufacturer: Comstar
Pros
  • Ability to tackle stubborn blockages
  • Suitable for plastic pipes, chrome trim and fine features
  • May be used with standing water
Cons
  • Highly corrosive requiring protective measures to be taken during application

Every now and again we all deserve those few treasured extra minutes of luxuriating in the comforting spray of the shower or reveling in the soothing feeling of a cool splash of water against our face.

And you can be certain that the key to enjoying those blissful moments is a drain which works like it’s meant to.

But what do you do when that drain doesn’t act like it should? Get the one product capable of eliminating all that grease, hair, soap scum and even the odd bit of paper which have somehow managed to find their way down your drain and morph into one huge mass of organic matter - just like the DISSOLVE Liquid Hair & Grease Clog Remover and get all that water flowing through smoothly again.

And if the reviews by satisfied customers are anything to go by, you can be certain that it will be a superb purchase in light of its ability to not only clear your drains in a matter of minutes, but to also remain on the walls of your pipes to ward off any debris which might cling to them.

Best of all, it’s also extremely convenient to use since you get to simply apply one chamber at a time and let it work its magic as it sinks right through all that water and gets to the heart of the problem. It’s also completely biodegradable too meaning you'll be able to take care of your drains and the environment at the same time.

Key Features
  • Special fast acting formula capable of clearing drains in a matter of minutes
  • Special formula which is suitable for use with standing water
  • Ability to cling to pipes to keep them clear
Specifications
  • Package Size: 2 lbs.
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Green Gobbler
Pros
  • Impressively prompt action
  • Suitable for use with standing water
  • Environmentally friendly
Cons
  • May be unsuitable for extremely stubborn blockages

Drain clogs, like inclement weather are a rather uncomfortable fact of life. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Unlike the latter which simply must be endured until the sun peeks out again, the former can be eliminated with ease. To take control of your sinks, tubs and shower stalls, all you need is a drain cleaner which has been specially manufactured to eliminate those pesky balls of debris determined to take up residence in your pipes - just like the Thrift Marketing IS - 1 LB Insta Drain Cleaner.

Reviews by very pleased customers mean you too might just end up similarly impressed. This drain cleaner comes with a potent clog busting formula and is also suitable for your pipes. As a matter of fact, the manufacturer claims that it’s capable of eliminating hair, grease and soap scum in less than a minute!

All you have to do is ensure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself first of all – you’ll need to wear thick rubber gloves and eye protection - before applying the Thrift Marketing IS- 1 LB Insta Drain Cleaner. Next you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your pipes should feel as right as rain again. It’s worth noting however, that this drain opener must not be used with a plunger to prevent splashing. However, it does seem capable of handling stubborn clogs which makes it a great choice of drain cleaner.

Key Features
  • Odorless, fast-acting formula
  • Suitable for all kinds of pipes
  • Fast acting drain cleaner
Specifications
  • Package Size: 15.2 oz.
  • Product Form: Pellets
  • Manufacturer: Thrift Marketing
Pros
  • Impressively prompt action
  • Suitable for pipes of all kinds
  • Capable of eliminating the most resilient clogs
Cons
  • Corrosive formula which must be handled with caution

The next product on our list has been praised for its ability to work where professional help has failed. It also promises to do just what its name says on the packaging and ‘gobble’ just about every pesky drain blocker known to plague households the world over: hair, paper, grease, and even baby wipes.

A drain cleaner with a difference, the aptly named Green Gobbler is not only ideal for eliminating any unpleasant obstructions but for also preventing them, too. Its special formula enables it to alter the pH of the water in your pipes spelling doom for any unwelcome blockage forming materials in the process, while ensuring water flows smoothly through your drains without a hitch.

You don’t have to worry about your drains getting damaged in the process either; its ability to handle the very toughest obstructions is also coupled with its delicate treatment of your pipes thanks to the non corrosive and non caustic ingredients used in its manufacture.

There’s also the unshakable faith its manufacturer has in its ability to deliver as promised as proven by their 30-day money-back guarantee in the event of your being dissatisfied with their product.

It does the job, leading to drains that function as though they are brand-new and toilets that flush perfectly, thanks to the industrial strength drain cleaner. Yep, the Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener is up to the task. And you, too, can experience those same clog-busting capabilities by making a purchase and getting your drains clear once more.

Key Features
  • Industrial-strength drain cleaner capable of handling the most troublesome blockages
  • Noncorrosive and non-caustic formula
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Specifications
  • Package Size: 64 oz.
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Green Gobbler
Pros
  • Ability to tackle stubborn blockages
  • Suitable for pipes of all kinds
  • Absence of any unpleasant lingering odors following use
Cons
  • May be unsuitable for extremely stubborn clogs

It's the 'Ultimate Green Cleaner' and its manufacturer prides itself on its ability to eat the 'scum of the earth' — a very apt term for the organic matter which forms those bothersome clogs in your drains, threatening to throw a wrench in your daily schedule.

And it's all thanks to its specially thickened formula which ensures it will adhere to the inner surface of your pipes while also coating the mass of organic material preventing the smooth flow of water through them. And that's when its premium natural microbes which love to feast on the organic material of which clogs are made, kick into action breaking it all down.

The Rockwell Labs Invade Bio Drain Gel has also been infused with lemon oil ensuring you will not only be able to look forward to an end to the unpleasant odors which have a habit of wafting out of blocked drains but will also get to bask in its citrus-fresh fragrance.

It's pretty versatile, too, and can be used for mopping applications, as well as power and hose-end sprayers.
And there's no need to worry about any fumes unlike a number of other drain cleaners since no harsh chemicals have been used in its manufacture.

If you would love to have the clogs in your pipes gobbled up while you get to enjoy the fresh summer scents of lemon oil and clear drains afterwards, purchasing the Rockwell Labs IBDC032 Invade Bio Drain Gel might just turn out to be a superb idea.

Key Features
  • Premium natural microbes which feed on clogs
  • Lemon oil for natural fragrance
  • Thick syrupy liquid which will adhere to the walls of pipes and the debris in them too
Specifications
  • Package Size: 1 qt.
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Rockwell
Pros
  • An effective environmentally-friendly drain cleaner
  • Natural fragrance to eliminate any unpleasant smells
  • Absence of unpleasant residual odors
Cons
  • May be unsuitable for eliminating drain flies

High ratings and great reviews will always pique our curiosity where products are concerned. Especially when they're hailed as being capable of outperforming renowned brands. A closer look at the Thrift Marketing Drain Cleaner shows that it has what it takes to clear the most persistent of blockages in record time. And it's this impressive rapid action formula which sets it apart from the rest, enabling it to get rid of hair and grease in merely 60 seconds! And if you're wondering whether it's bound to unleash the same ferocity on your pipes as it does on blockages, you needn't worry. This product is suitable for use with chrome, porcelain, plastic and metal pipes. And included in that last category are: copper and cast iron.

What's more it's also ideal for small drains, grease traps, septic systems and is an excellent choice for working with fine plumbing fixtures.

However taking advantage of its impressive qualities does require a few safety precautions. The first of these happens to be eye and skin protection. This is due to the fact that it does tend to bubble when applied and customers have noted that it creates a miniature eruption. There are also the resulting fumes released as it eliminates the blockage in your pipes which have been described as having a somewhat sharp odor. It's also worth noting that it's unsuitable for toilets. And yet its versatility and powerful action make it an excellent alternative compared to having to call the plumber in.

Key Features
  • Impressively fast acting formula which clears grease and hair in 60 seconds
  • Versatile formula which is suitable for metal, plastic, and porcelain pipes
  • Versatile formula which is perfect for small drains and septic tanks
Specifications
  • Package Size: 2 lbs.
  • Product Form: Powder
  • Manufacturer: Thrift
Pros
  • Highly effective in eliminating clogs
  • Ideal for a wide range of pipes
  • Ideal for kitchen and bathroom surfaces
  • Ideal for small drains and septic tanks
Cons
  • Unsuitable for toilets
  • Harmful to skin
  • Releases harsh fumes when dissolving clogs

This unclogging product gets the job done. It is the ideal solution for getting water flowing effortlessly through those drains, and chances are it might just be the solution you’re looking for (and we have to add that it's all for a totally decent price).

The product which is described by its manufacturer as being the strongest non-acid drain cleaner available — and 20 times stronger than other varieties — has been created using a special formula which makes it especially effective in breaking down organic matter including hair and paper. It’s also capable of dissolving grease thanks to its ability to generate the heat required to melt it and loosen up the debris in your pipes.

And while its manufacturer does recommend leaving it in for about an hour, pleasantly surprised customers have commented on its ability to clear blockages in shorter times - although it’s worth noting that the extent of the blockage may vary making it a great idea to adhere to the instructions provided with the product.

If you’d love a drain opener which does what it says on its packaging and gets the water in your sinks, bath tubs and shower stalls flowing freely once again while also being perfectly safe for your pipes, purchasing the Instant Power 1969 Hair and Grease Drain Opener might turn out to be an excellent decision.

Key Features
  • Special formula for breaking down organic matter including hair, grease, and paper
  • Special heat-generating action for melting grease and loosening debris
  • Powerful non-acid drain clearing action
Specifications
  • Package Size: 1 Liter
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Instant Power
Pros
  • Suitable for overnight use
  • Special strength making it more effective than other drain cleaners
  • Suitable for routine drain blockages
Cons
  • Recommended duration of one hour may pose an inconvenience

The next product on our list comes with the alkaline features described in the introduction and promises to clear those blocked drains in merely 7 minutes and have water flowing freely through them once more. And as attested to by several delighted customers, it most certainly lives up to its promises.

In addition to being impressively fast acting, the Drano Max Gel Clog Remover is also safe for all kinds of drains, making it an ideal choice for homeowners concerned about possible damage to their pipes while clearing them.

What’s more, it also comes with an added touch of convenience since it can actually be used in the presence of all that accumulated water in your bathtub, shower stall, or sink.

The drain cleaner also features a child-safety cap that is especially welcome if you happen to be a parent or have children over regularly at your house — however, it’s important to keep the product out of the reach of little residents or visitors who can be particularly adventurous and curious.

There are also the clear instructions provided by Drano, its manufacturer on how best to apply the solution depending on the severity of the issue.

With its fast action, effectiveness in standing water, child safety cap and ability to keep your drains safe, it’s clear that this is one product which ticks all the right boxes, and which might have what it takes to keep your drains blockage free.

Key Features
  • Special fast-acting formula capable of clearing drains in 7 minutes
  • Special formula which is suitable for use with standing water
  • Effective alkaline drain clearing action
Specifications
  • Package Size: 80 fluid oz. (per bottle)
  • Product Form: Liquid
  • Manufacturer: Drano
Pros
  • The presence of a child safety cap
  • Impressively prompt action
  • Suitable for all drain types
Cons
  • Is caustic and must not be used with a plunger

 

What are drain cleaners and how do they work?

Household drain cleaners happen to be chemicals, bacteria, or enzymes which attack organic matter such as hair, food, paper, and fabric, breaking them down so they can be flushed away with ease.

They belong in four main categories based on their components and unique means of clearing up your drains:

  • Acid drain cleaners: Often consisting of common acids such as those of the sulphuric or hydrochloric variety, these products also produce heat which breaks down the debris making it easier to flush it away. However, it’s worth noting most drain cleaners available for domestic use don’t belong in this category since those which do are meant for professional use.
  • Caustic drain cleaners: The main distinguishing feature of drain cleaners in this group is the fact that they’re bases, i.e. they exist at the other end of the chemical spectrum from acids. These cleaners tend to operate by converting any fatty substances blocking your drain into a soap-like substance due to their ability to give off heat. The transformed material is thereby easier to wash away with water, resulting in a cleared drain.
  • Eco-friendly drain cleaners: These products are the only noncorrosive variety of drain cleaners — although care must be taken to protect yourself when applying them in the same way you would with the others. Consisting of enzymes and bacteria, they break down waste such as hair, food, and grease into carbon dioxide, water, and mineral residue which are relatively harmless to the environment.
  • Oxidizing drain cleaners: This last group draws its name from the chemical reaction which occurs when cleaners in this category are poured down a blocked drain: the addition of electrons to the debris. They generally consist of chemicals such as nitrates as well as peroxides.

In this article, we shall be taking a look at ten of the very best drain cleaners as voted for by customers who have purchased these products themselves. We shall also be examining all the features which make them especially effective at getting your drains working perfectly again, ensuring your plans can proceed smoothly without a hitch.

Applying drain cleaners - safety tips

It’s worth noting that caustic and oxidizing drain cleaners, in particular, come with a risk of corrosion to the skin, however, it’s important to act carefully when applying drain cleaners of all kinds. Always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before applying them and wear thick rubber gloves and eye protection when pouring them down the blocked drain. Avoid using a plunger during their application as this could put you at risk of being splashed by them. You must also keep them out of the reach of children and pets and ventilate the room following their application.

FAQ

Q: Are there any natural drain cleaning options?

While natural drain cleaners aren’t typically as effective as chemical solutions, there are a few options that might do the trick. Combining baking soda and vinegar causes a chemical reaction to occur that’s been known to help dislodge clogs. By pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar, you’ll cause a chemical reaction. The interaction of baking soda and vinegar causes an acid-based reaction to occur. This is what can help you dislodge your leak. However, it’s really important to note that the chemical process causes a release of carbon dioxide, which is lethal to humans in large amounts. Be sure to rinse the drain after cleaning.

Q: Are the popular drain cleaners safe?

Many drain cleaners use substances that can be toxic to humans and pets. If used in their intended form, you shouldn’t experience any dangerous side effects. But in households where children reside, it’s important to keep your drain cleaners locked up. In order to keep yourself safe while using drain cleaners, make sure to ventilate your space (to eliminate any respiratory infection). And never mix drain cleaners, since doing so can cause harmful chemical reactions. If managed well, drain cleaners can offer a great solution to an icky problem. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label for the best results.

Q: What happens if Drano (or a similar cleaner) doesn’t drain?

The use of Drano (or a similar cleaner) involves a number of chemical reactions. These reactions cause a heat-inducing process to occur. The heat is what helps dislodge clogs in your drains, assisting in the decomposition process at an accelerated rate. When you pour drain cleaners down your pipes, they’ll sit in your clog and repeatedly heat up until released from the pipes. This means that the surrounding PVC will heat up over and over again until the clog is released. In the best case, your clog will dissipate in 15-30 minutes as intended. But if the solution sits in your pipes for an extended amount of time, it can cause permanent damage to your pipes.

Q: Can drain cleaners make a clog worse?

Surprisingly, drain cleaners can actually worsen your clog. What we hope for while using a drain cleaner is to dislodge particles that have congealed in your drain. But drain cleaners can also make your clog into a congealed mass, blocking your pipes further. The best way to manage clogs is by nipping them in the tail before they become problematic. Some people run natural drain cleaners through their pipes on a monthly basis to prevent build ups in their pipes. Chemical drain cleaners are generally most helpful once you’ve already begun to experience a clog that can’t be dislodged by using baking soda and vinegar.

Q: Are drain cleaners bad for your pipes?

Drain cleaners use an acidic approach to dislodging your clog. By default, this means that they can cause damage to plastic and rubber. As long as you follow the directions on the label, your standard drain cleaners shouldn’t cause any long-lasting damage to your pipes. The exception would be if you have a really bad clog and the solution gets stuck in your pipes. If you have a clog that’s preventing any discharge of water, it might be best to consider hiring a professional to fix your clog. Otherwise you risk corrosion to your pipe system (unless your pipes are glass).

Resources— Superior Plumbing, Coastal Drains, Thornton and Grooms

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